Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 11, 2018

Saudis Must Cough Up Billions To Settle Khashoggi Case

The Khashoggi case, discussed here, will be moved off the news pages even faster than assumed.

A CNN correspondent just tweeted this:

Alexander Marquardt @MarquardtA - 16:44 utc - 11 Oct 2018
Erdogan spox: "At the request of Saudi Arabia, a joint working group will be established to uncover the events surrounding Jamal Khashoggi."


Erdogan spox: "Our Sultan received a sufficient down payment to start negotiating about the burial of the case."


Erdogan will use the 'joint working group' to squeeze as much as he can out of the Saudis. (A deal may even include a political settlement of the Saudi blockade of Erdogan's sponsor Qatar.)

Yesterday 22 Senators signed a request to Trump to investigate the Khashoggi case under the Global Magnitsky Act. The Trump administration has 120 days to finish the investigation and to report back to the Senate. Any person or organization found to be involved in the kidnapping and possible murder of Khashoggi could then come under U.S. sanctions.

Those 120 days are the time-frame for Erdogan to use the thumbscrews the Saudi fuckup in its consulate in Istanbul handed him. The Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman will get squeezed like never before. It will cost him billions to purchase the video of the Khashoggi killing the Turkish government claims to have.

Erdogan will not be the only one to profit from the issue. The Senate move gives Trump enormous leverage over the Saudis. He will use it.

Trump loudly claimed that he personally closed a $110 billion deal in which the Saudis purchase more useless weapons. There never was a 'deal', only some non-binding letters of intent.

The Saudis have been reluctant to follow through. They did not pony up the $15 billion for the U.S. made THAAD missile defense systems Trump 'sold' them and even talked with Russia about buying the much cheaper and better S-400:

According to The Washington Post, among the agreements still up in the air is the $15 billion purchase of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System [THAAD], made by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

In a sign of Trump's continued emphasis on arms sales as a component of US foreign policy, White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner personally intervened with Lockheed to secure a 20% discount for the air-defense system.

Yet Riyadh let a September 30 deadline to wrap up that purchase come and go, according to The Post.

The new sales-pitch is easy to see. Either MbS buys the THAAD and other useless systems (without discount), or the investigation Trump has to pursue will reluctantly find MbS involved in the Khashoggi case. That would put MbS and his assets within the U.S. under sanctions. The Saudi King would have to replace MbS as clown king and successor.

Others will also try to gain political profit from the case. Netanyahoo will request that the investigation under the Global Magnitsky Act finds that Iran is guilty of the murder. Others will want to blame Russia. Was it a GRU cyberattack that hindered the Saudi consulates CCTV from recording the events while Qasem Soleimani slipped into the Saudi consulate and novichoked Khashoggi?

That might sound far fetched or even crazy but we have been here before. When in December 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie it was quite obvious that it was a revenge act for the July 1988 murder of 290 people on board of Iran Air flight 655 by the U.S. navy. But the investigation was fudged and in the end it was politically most convenient to blame Libya's Ghaddafi for the Pan Am disaster even while he had nothing to do with either incident.

But whatever.

Deals will be made and the case will be buried. If the deals are good enough, several dozen billions will be required, the U.S. might even allow Mohammad bin Salman to stay in his position.

But King Salman, or some Saudi citizens, may well find that the various crazy endeavors MbS tends to launch - the war on Yemen, the Qatar blockade, the Khashoggi assassination - are becoming way too costly for the country. A simple unlucky home accident could solve that problem.

Posted by b on October 11, 2018 at 19:03 UTC | Permalink

next page »

If Turkey has it that video tape could well be the most valuable such tape there has been to date. No doubt there are multiple copies for security reasons.

Posted by: JohninMK | Oct 11 2018 19:12 utc | 1

"Any person or organization found to be involved in the kidnapping and possible murder of Khashoggi could then come under U.S. sanctions."

Never hatchi tomodachi, although, DJT might further enrich himself behind the scenes, and off the grid. But really pressure the Saudis for what? A new orb to dance around?

Posted by: ben | Oct 11 2018 19:33 utc | 2

The 'Global Magnitsky Act' vape...
Bill BROWDERs body double, dressed as outrage/
another pretender. another pretence.
Magnitsky: empire tax thief accountant becomes 'Bills lawyer'
martyr to truth.

Posted by: rem | Oct 11 2018 19:42 utc | 3

Things between Bezos and MbS will never be the same again.

Posted by: bjd | Oct 11 2018 20:13 utc | 4


Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 11 2018 20:18 utc | 5

I think Trump will keep MBS in place and keep squeezing until US companies own Aramco.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 11 2018 20:25 utc | 6

I hope that this plays out so that the war against poor Yemen comes to an end....cynical isn't it that the saudis will have to pay out perhaps tens of billions for the murder of one man, and it still costs them nothing to have killed or been responsible for the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands in Yemen, the poorest of all the Arab countries.
such is the world we live in

(when I saw the list of the signatories I noticed that none of the senators from NY or CA had signed on, especially notable to me about the repulsive Feinstein and Schumer)

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 11 2018 20:27 utc | 7

Erdy is wielding a dangerous threat. MBS has enough idiocy to seek revenge on Erdy and that could benefit the world and the people of Syria too. Time to dig two graves it seems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 11 2018 20:29 utc | 8

Thanks B, the pieces are falling into their places.

To Pan Am Flight 103: 4-5 years ago i watched a documentation about it, with the usual narrative. But some weeks ago i tried to learn some more pieces of the truth about it, and on Wikipedia is a MSM/propaganda article like so often these days.
Has anyone some links to an unbiased account on the tragedy?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 11 2018 20:31 utc | 9

What Turkey does is neither here nor there, what the Americans do matters, and they have to be careful, the deranged Saudi youngster could call their bluff, do a deal with Russia and other oil exporting countries, begin the pricing of oil not in dollars but some synthetic currency, or the Chinese renminbi. If he does that the role of the dollar as the reserve currency is over.

Posted by: Baron | Oct 11 2018 20:31 utc | 10


You mean the role of MBS would be over. We'd see a US invasion with Aramco then gifted into Israeli/US hands, with another Saudi prince willing to give it all legitimacy...

Posted by: Castellio | Oct 11 2018 20:44 utc | 11

I wonder if Bill Gates and Oprah still find the Clown Prince their favorite head lopper, child rapist and liver eater

Posted by: Anunnaki | Oct 11 2018 20:46 utc | 12

How much will Theresa May ask Putin for the CCTV video showing Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov spraying novichok on Sergei Skripal's door handle which the British government claims not to have?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 11 2018 21:05 utc | 13

Its being reported a deal to release Andrew Brunson has been reached between US and Turkey. This could be unrelated but as I said in other thread it might be related to the Khashoggi event. Question is what Turkey gets in return from the US which no doubt will come from the Saudis. In other words, Khashoggi event has been staged to provide a cover so the US will not be seen as paying for a hostage. Saudis concede something to Turkey and it will be written off as compensation for kidnapping or even murdering Khashoggi. Could the US have agreed to sacrifice Khashoggi for Brunson?

Posted by: Pft | Oct 11 2018 21:12 utc | 14

Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

"Highly Likely" Iran had a hand in it also. Judas was a 'Persian', of course, and would have been a Shiite if he hadn't been suicidal and lived another 800 years or so.

Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 11 2018 21:13 utc | 15

Current, unflattering sentiments about the actors in what some are calling the "US government soap opera." One reminder is the arms sales are $300 Billion, not 110.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 11 2018 21:15 utc | 16

@8: For an objective discussion, with detailed analysis of the forensic evidence, of how and where the Lockerbie bomb was placed I recommend the book 'Adequately explained by stupidity?' by M.Kerr. The author (wisely in my view) does not speculate on who might have placed the bomb, although she makes it clear that it could not have been either of the Libyans tried for the crime. The book is not perfect, as it lacks an index, but you can't have everything!

Posted by: Coldish | Oct 11 2018 21:17 utc | 17

@Red Ryder (14)
"Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned."

The Wikipedia article will be penned by Jimmy 'Jimbo' Wales himself, from which Bellincat and The Guardian will then quote.

Posted by: bjd | Oct 11 2018 21:19 utc | 18

Posted by: Pft | Oct 11, 2018 5:12:01 PM | 13

It is hard to believe that Brunson was ever a real concern for USA. As far as "sanctions" that are brewing, I do not expect much. After the election season in USA, at the latest, the focus will be elsewhere.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 11 2018 21:29 utc | 19

She's no friend of the Turks or Saudis, yet Sharmine Narwani isn't so quick to condemn what is merely a different version of the Skripal frame-up complete with evidenceless pronouncements by BigLie Media.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 11 2018 21:32 utc | 20

Excellent original (I assume) analysis, as usual.

Posted by: Protagonist | Oct 11 2018 21:55 utc | 21

re: Lockerbie

Read this

originally published in 2009 here (but you must sign up):

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 11 2018 21:55 utc | 22

Could Brunson be a beneficiary in this as the changed position by Turkey is hard to explain.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 11 2018 21:59 utc | 23

@Red Ryder (14)

Even Bellingcat beginning to be outed by the Independent

not seen till now though is any questioning of Bellingcat’s credentials in mainstream media. So let me hand you over, without further ado and with hearty if surprised approval, to Mary Dejevsky: not known as a Kremlin stooge or Putin troll. Yet here she is, in today’s Independent, asking in all sincerity and with admirable bluntness just WTF is Bellingcat?

Posted by: jsb | Oct 11 2018 22:00 utc | 24

Re: Lockerbie
Here is a previous article from 2007 also from LRB:

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 11 2018 22:07 utc | 25

Not that hypocrisy by BigLie media's anything new, but their concern for Khashoggi compared to their mutedness over Assange is something to behold--the loss of a government tool's bemoaned whereas the censoring of one of the world's most important if not vital journalist doesn't raise a whisper of protest. Of course, no where is their mention of the total lack of evidence a la Skripal and Russiagate with all suppositions and presumptions being treated as proven facts. Yes, Khashoggi is more aptly described as a polemicist than a journalist whose importance pales to that of Assange. Further examples of BigLie Media hypocrisy are revealed in the linked article.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 11 2018 22:23 utc | 26

@Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 11, 2018 4:31:13 PM | 8

re Lockerbie

This is excellent: Lockerbie - The Flight From Justice Paul Foot - Private Eye Special Report

A dying ember of investigative journalism in the UK, written by a good man no longer with us.

Posted by: Ross | Oct 11 2018 22:36 utc | 27

Turks have leaked the audio?

Posted by: Anunnaki | Oct 11 2018 23:12 utc | 28


I really like Sharmine, but on this one she's wrong and frankly I don't get why she's tweeting exculpatory comments when MbS deserves to be dragged to the Hague only for his crimes in Yemen. Actually, in his case the Hague should implement the death penalty. What can be worse than what he's doing to millions of children in Yemen???

It's one thing to mistrust the media, but it's another to deny the obvious truth and give that sado-psychotic criminal a millimetre of credibility.

15 Saudis including a Forensics expert fly in just before Khashoggi is set to enter the Consulate. He never exits. His fiancée is waiting - no Khashoggi (Khashoggi even told her to call the police if he didn't return in a reasonable time span); black van waiting at the back; black van goes to Consul's house into an underground garage; 15 Saudis leave hours later for airport and depart on same two jets via two different routes. Which facts is she looking at??? They look pretty damning to me! If the Saudis were holding him alive, they would show proof of life because otherwise I'm counting on well-deserved hell breaking loose on them! Except for Trump and Kushner who have millions and maybe a billion reasons to bury the truth and save their ass! Kushner 666 indeed!

If I didn't know better I'd suspect she's a Zionist double agent, but I know better and on this Saudi crime, SO SHOULD SHE.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 11 2018 23:23 utc | 29


Brunson - Pence swap for making Khashoggi sanctions go away. Mossad-CIA extortion at its finest. No doubt MbS will also agree not to dump $T worth of junk Treasuries.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 11 2018 23:29 utc | 30

MbS may well be privy to the Trump Piss Tapes. If so, MbS may remain in good accord.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 11 2018 23:31 utc | 31

A working group or committee is a sure way to massage the message to suit a particular narrative. History is replete with examples. In fact, many key characters are still living and available for such dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 11 2018 23:36 utc | 32

re Karlof1 @25 "...but their concern for Khashoggi compared to their mutedness over Assange is something to behold."

The MSM is as transparent as glass for those with eyes to see. All of them singing from the same song sheet across the world. The Internet enables us all to see this - if we choose. We might not be able to see man behind the curtain directly, but we can see the baton strokes of a "single mind" directing the symphony of deception.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Oct 11 2018 23:47 utc | 33

AP @32--

Yea, that's been apparent since Nov 1963, if not before.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2018 0:03 utc | 34

A video of the killing mean prior knowledge.

Posted by: Alpi | Oct 12 2018 0:38 utc | 35

It's hard to believe that they would film a killing.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 12 2018 0:59 utc | 36

#7 That's a great forking point. It's disgusting how human lives can be differentiated in value so much.

Posted by: worldblee | Oct 12 2018 2:02 utc | 37

To Pan Am Flight 103: 4-5 years ago i watched a documentation about it, with the usual narrative. But some weeks ago i tried to learn some more pieces of the truth about it, and on Wikipedia is a MSM/propaganda article like so often these days. Has anyone some links to an unbiased account on the tragedy? Thanks in advance! Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 11, 2018 4:31:13 PM | 8

"For years disinformation specialists have peddled a giant lie about the crash of Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie. Time and time again the media has hysterically regurgitated the flawed and impossible legend that Maid of the Seas was brought to earth by a bomb triggered by a barometrically-activated timer, hidden in a radio in a samsonite suitcase. A barometric timer set for 10,000 feet altitude, which miraculously failed to activate when the Air Malta Flight it was allegedly planted on climbed through 10,000 feet after departing Valetta for Frankfurt, and again when the Pam Am feeder Boeing 727 to London climbed through 10,000 feet after departing Frankfurt."
Copyright Joe Vialls, May 2000

Posted by: Guerrero | Oct 12 2018 2:21 utc | 38

On the previous thread I've linked a Hurriyet article @15 that stated Khashoggi was wearing a black Apple watch.

What is curious is that an Apple watch has two microphones built in and since Khashoggi was wearing one, that could have been the bug used to record the incident (one that is always near him and could have recorded the whole episode). That would also be prudent of Khashoggi to carry one into the trip to the embassy. That would also explain how the US intelligence could have figured out what happened so quickly, instead of the story about the Consulate being bugged by the Turks (a smokescreen) -- which would require bugs seemingly everywhere in order to figure what happened (as he was moved from room to room as is being reported).

Posted by: jsb | Oct 12 2018 2:31 utc | 39

@19 karlof1

Thanks for the link. Sharmine is trying to be a journalist, and I applaud her for it. Everyone else seems to have abandoned this attempt.

Her point of view highlights the fact that with each incident like this, and Skripal before it, the requirement to present proof and evidence, prior to verdict, simply recedes further and further away.

That's the real crime happening here. But the critical view has left the room.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 12 2018 2:38 utc | 40

All this kinda' begs the question; Why would Khashoggi, a seemingly intelligent journalist, walk into the Saudi embassy voluntarily? What am I missing?

Posted by: ben | Oct 12 2018 2:54 utc | 41

It's highly likely that Turkey does have a visual and/or audio record of every thing that happens inside the Saudi embassy, 24/7, including the Kashoggi incident. Books like Spy Catcher et al, tend to confirm that all countries bug and spy on each other's embassies using cutting-edge tech and tricks.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 12 2018 4:19 utc | 42

In Putin's Q & A following the recent Energy Summit, he referred to prostitution as the "second-oldest profession" - after spying.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 12 2018 4:24 utc | 43

US and Turkey both wants to benefit out of this incident. Probably colluded together to blackmail MbS.

Posted by: AG17 | Oct 12 2018 5:08 utc | 44

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda @8

In The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror, which bombing is a modern template for many false flags that follow, i.e., a drill goes live, the author follows a myriad of threads, including the fact that CIA intelligence officers were on Pan Am 103 ("Inconvenient Truths" and "Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice" mention this was well). The contention is that they were returning to Langley to present evidence that a rogue CIA group was running drugs through Lebanon. It sez here the rogues managed to place a bomb on the plane in Germany.

Posted by: pogohere | Oct 12 2018 5:20 utc | 45

ben 40 "Why would Khashoggi, a seemingly intelligent journalist, walk into the Saudi embassy voluntarily?"

I have also wondered about that. Perhaps he thought the US was covering his back or perhaps he thought MBS wouldn't be as blatant as to knock him off when there were witnesses to him going into the embassy.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 12 2018 5:20 utc | 46

jiri 35

Haven't you seen the ISIS snuff movies.. No difference between Saudi's and ISIS other than US proclaims Saudi an ally and ISIS an enemy, notwithstanding that ISIS only exists to further US ambitions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 12 2018 5:31 utc | 47

I have a theory that the more lurid the death description, the less likely it is to be true.

The many deaths of North Korean notables is one example e.g.

And of course

So to tie this murder down, someone needs to produce actual body parts (entirely possible even if he's still alive) or have him walk into a press conference.

Much as I despise the Wahhabis there is simply not enough evidence that he was actually murdered - just lots of innuendo.

Posted by: Charles Wood | Oct 12 2018 7:02 utc | 48

Somehow, judging from my armchair ;), this "killing" seems unlikely to me... I mean, suppose the saudis actually want to get rid of the guy, you'd think that literally every other location and method would be more appropriate than an embassy and his girlfriend waiting outside. Seems more likely that he's been kidnapped and will be traded?

Posted by: radiator | Oct 12 2018 7:58 utc | 49

Interesting, my first instinct was also to think how Turkey would also use this to squeeze some cash out of KSA and USA, let's see how Turkish bonds do in the coming months maybe. Not like Erdogan is the greatest supporter of journalism and free speech now is he....
But this figures, many others like the USA can now also cash in on a very exposed MBS. It really shows what a petulant, inexperienced and dangerous leader he is, few more moves like this and he is definitely gonna get zapped by his growing list of enemies within the Kingdom.. oh well, couldn't happen to a nicer guy really.

Posted by: EtTuBrute | Oct 12 2018 10:27 utc | 50

@ 9

I looked into the Lockerbie thing several years ago and was astonished to find out that the only link to Lybia was a Swiss made timer supposedly used to detonate the bomb. It was found "by chance" although the plane debris were scattered over many square kilometers...

Posted by: lili | Oct 12 2018 10:49 utc | 51


Yeah, duh

IMO it is basically a 3-4 way coordinated act/deal that allows all parties to get something they couldn't otherwise get w/o negative political consequences. Its possible Khashoggi and his fiance cooperated. Not sure

We will never know. People will believe what their confirmation biases allow.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 12 2018 12:04 utc | 52

The amount of work done by KSA does not balance out, with a cost-benefit analysis, against the apparent role of Khashoggi. They send a complex team of 15 professionals, on two jets, on a costly high-risk mission to kidnap and/or expat dissident journalist? It doesn't add up yet. Khashoggi must be more than he seems; or perhaps someone gave the idea to MbS?

Posted by: Imagine | Oct 12 2018 12:27 utc | 53

@9 Lockerbee --->

Posted by: hestroy | Oct 12 2018 12:42 utc | 54

"......Others will want to blame Russia. Was it a GRU cyberattack that hindered the Saudi consulates CCTV from recording the events while Qasem Soleimani slipped into the Saudi consulate and novichoked Khashoggi?......"

Lately, the GRU has shown themselves to be little more than bumbling idiots. Bellingcat would have already exposed them if they were involved. However, Putin is an exceptional foreign policy strategist. He will be more than willing to step in and supply all the weaponry to Saudi Arabia they need if the US tries to withhold weapons sales for the murder(?) of Khashoggi. Trump will never allow that to happen for two reasons.

1. Maintaining the US-Saudi Arabia-Israel axis to counter the regional influence of Iran is far more important than the death of a single journalist.
2. Weapons sales are a big US business. Russia is a US competitor. That's one reason why the US put Russia under sanctions for the murder of the whistleblower, Magnitsky, in a Russian prison.

Posted by: craigsummers | Oct 12 2018 13:59 utc | 55


And I suppose you also believe Elvis is alive and well living in Las Vegas.

No one here can explain why Consulate staff was told not to come back from lunch and same at Consul's house. Facts are meaningless to some of you; you'd rather have the ridiculous explanation that protects criminals and your god Trump!

The Turkish government told U.S. officials they have video and audiotape of Khashoggi being interrogated, tortured and killed by the Saudis. It's possible the Saudis didn't conduct a thorough sweep. They should be pressured into releasing what they have but Trump has a billion reasons to make this disappear like Khashoggi. He's rotten to the core.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 12 2018 14:07 utc | 56


And if you notice from the video there's a guy in a blue jacket beside the door giving the impression that it's business as usual at the Consulate when in fact all the staff had been sent home. Even though he told his fiancee to call the police if he didn't return, like many here who insist on denying reality, he never imagined they'd have the audacity to do something there. He was fooled by his relief at getting the paperwork to marry his fiancee.

Actually I just heard Turkish authorities shared the audio and video with some Western intelligence and what was on there was brutal, extremely violent and shocking. Trump is in shet's corner now. GOOD.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 12 2018 14:33 utc | 57

Qatar is jubilating! Turkey, too! Saudi Arabia will be criticized and isolated as most GCC countries would dissaprove and prefer to dissociate from such a crime. Dismembering the body of a dead moslem man is a very serious crime in Islam.

Kuwait and Bahrein are already cozyng up with Syria, the UAE is slowly moving out the Yemen war and reviewing ist relation with Syria.
Kashoogi's alleged martyr may save Yemenis lives and may have the Western world faced to the reality that in the region, the evil is not Iran but their best friend, Saudi Arabia and its smiling monster MBS.
Kashoogi may have succeeded unintentionnaly to destabilize MBS and probably trigger his removal. The USA will have no problem in sacrificing MBS for the sake of keeping the Saudi milking under control. The only problem will be that it will reflect on Kushner-MBS Grand Palestinian plan.
Maybe Kashoogi's love for fiancee made him take the risk to get a divorce paper from the Saudi Arabia consulate and be killed.
A sad ending to a love story.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 12 2018 14:40 utc | 58


As I predicted - BREAKING US pastor Andrew Brunson freed by Turkish court

Now Pence has his Rabbinicals circling the wagons for the Holy War against 'Evil Iran behind the brutal Khashoggi Murser!' -- it worked for Cheney in 2003. Evangelicals and Rabbinicals are nipot the brightest candles on the menorrah.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 12 2018 14:54 utc | 59

Schmoe 27

Go to Wikileaks and look up William Roebuck (whose name occasionally resurfaces these days in reference to Syria). His cables from 2007 and 2008 are all about the plans to destabilize Syria by doing pretty much what we've been seeing since 2011.

and Nick 28

You are spot on without realizing it with ''middle easternization''. The whole obsession with the WALL comes from the need to pretect the Hew Hess Hay from the colossal flood of refugees that such destabilization will generate -- and save the Hew Hess Hay from the problems the Europe is now facing.

Posted by: RJPJR | Oct 12 2018 14:56 utc | 60


In a mere fortnight from now, this news story will be transmogrified into 'Brunson Released From Pharoahs' Chains As Triumphant Exceptional Judeo-Christian Evangelicals Fight Satanic Ayatollah Caliphate Head-Chopping Child-Buggering Mufti Labia-Mutilating Iran!'

Then Pence will raise a clenched fist alongside Bolton at some PNAC Rosh Chodesh Fest in WADC, and hoarsely yell, "Bmob the Persians for Jesus -- MAGA, MAGA, MAGA!' and Blue-Bloods on Wall Street will clap until their hands bleed.

It's an old parlor trick to save a dying PetroDollar.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 12 2018 15:06 utc | 61


"One word, Circe.


One word, are you listening?

Yes, sir.

White Hats.

That's two words, sir."

Welcome to Fake News Apres Le Deluge.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 12 2018 15:12 utc | 62

First international reaction: Embryo of a boycott of a major event to be held by the Saudis on October 23-25 — the Future Investment Initiative (FII).

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 12 2018 16:19 utc | 63

I don't know, the whole story is as good as the first act Skripal Comedy. It is unbelievable, its partly comic it’s partly tragic. But it is not close to the truth. Which we again never will, learn.
The falsums and lies we are treated to has reached new high levels and we ordinary citizens have little chance of coming closer to the matter of facts.
Everything is slapped with notices or classified or not commented upon.
We the people need to decapitate, the monster we ourselves have nurtured and brought into being.
This will not be pretty, and devastation will follow. But I think something bad (Good) will happen soon or sooner.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 12 2018 16:39 utc | 64

What will come up from the Turkish Saudi investigation?

The investigation Saudi-Turks will come up with the scenario that there was a plot inside the consular of rogue elements (Yemeni sympathizers, Iranian agents, Qatar sympathizers, Russian agents, Hezbollah) to kidnap the journalist after neutralizing the CCTV as he was about to leave the consulate. Kashoogi has been recently insisting that the USA should get directly involved in Yemen to crush the 'fanatic' Houthis and hand over the country to the Saudis.
As the Turks insist that he was killed and dismembered and that supposedly they have a video of the killing. The Saudis will argue that it is possible that the kidnapping went wrong and that it ended up with Kashooggi left dead by the kidnappers after been roughed up. Was he in good health? heart problems, he fell on his head?
After the rogue elements left him dead inside the consular, the 'innocent' Saudis had to deal with a dead man and give explanations on their responsibility in the failure of protecting the journalist. They may have made the bad decision to hide his death by making the body disappear.
The Saudis will put the blame of rogue elements in the consular with external accomplices. They will find convenient culprits, countries behund the plot, they will arrest a few Yemenis sympathizers insiders and execute them. With billions distributed to Turks and the media and concessions on Qatar and Yemen, and the subject will be closed

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 12 2018 16:55 utc | 65

Anton Worter @58: As I predicted ... [in comment @30]

Brunson's release was predictable well before this fiasco.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 12 2018 16:58 utc | 66

mbs was psycho and incompetent from beginning. that's why he was out of the picture. brought back in by u.s. to destroy saudis and for israel and u.s. to take over the oil fields and the sovereign wealth.

Posted by: bondo | Oct 12 2018 17:18 utc | 67

wesley clark's 7 countries in 5 years
changed to 8 (arabia) maybe 9 (turkey) countries
in whatever years it takes
to satisfy yidrael

forgot ukraine - 10.

Posted by: bondo | Oct 12 2018 17:22 utc | 68

According to a TRNN interview with Ali Al Ahmed of The Institute for Gulf Affairs, the Turkish video of Kashoggi's killing is already out there so the hush-up if there's going to be one will be somewhat more difficult.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Oct 12 2018 17:33 utc | 69

Founds this soemewhere:
US congress

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 12 2018 18:05 utc | 70

Re: Virgile @64 (predicted outcome of the Saudi-Turkish investigation)

The Saudi and Turk officials sat slumped around the large conference table. They were dispirited, having spent the past day and most of the night exercising their meagre intellectual faculties in an attempt to concoct a plausible investigative narrative to extricate the Kingdom from the dire predicament it was now in. It had been to no avail. Now, the senior member of the GID present at the meeting openly broached the solution of murdering the entire consulate staff and blowing up the building.

Nobody wanted it to come to that, especially the MIT representative, who offered to make a call to MI-6 to bring them into the conspiracy in an attempt preserve his leader’s leverage over the Saudis. "The Brits are bold liars," he observed. "It's something about the accent - people believe anything the BBC says."

At that moment, an obscure functionary present in the room, an intelligence analyst named Virgile, piped up and voiced a complex theory that involved tying the Iranians and Russians, and possibly Hezbollah, into a botched kidnapping at the Embassy that caused Saudi officials to panic and dispose of the body to avoid an international incident - thereby inadvertently causing one. (see @64 above).

“We could say the perpetrators were returned on those jets to the homeland and have been duly beheaded. No witnesses!” Virgile added, evidently pleased with himself. “I was educated in Oxford, you know.”

"That is absolutely crazy!" the MIT agent bellowed. "No sane person would believe it! It's worth a shot!"

Posted by: Activist Potato | Oct 12 2018 18:13 utc | 71

I can't see why people are doubting the Turks. They say they have video and sound, no doubt from bugging the Saudi consulate. The Saudi diplomats won't have been bothered to search for bugs. They're entirely do what you're paid for but not more. Video sounds a bit much (wait for proof), but sound is well on the cards.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 12 2018 18:17 utc | 72

@9 For Pan Am 103 & much more: needs a UK IP address

Posted by: Barbara Ann | Oct 12 2018 18:26 utc | 73

Laguerre @72--

See jsb comment 39, re Khashoggi's watch.

I'm sure the Turks have more real evidence than the UK on Russia and Skripals. If his death serves to turn off arms and munitions sales to Saudi, then he will have accomplished more than any of the headchoppers he supported.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2018 18:53 utc | 74

You know, it's not really necessary to rise to the occasion by defending the Russians and Iranians. No one has accused them of anything and it's highly unlikely anybody will. Old habits are hard to break I guess.

Looks like the whole thing went down pretty much the way the Turks say it did. That would make it tough for any POTUS except Trump to blithely conduct business as usual but he has already exhausted any chance of portraying himself as having any morals or scruples. His game plan remains the same, steal as much he can for as long as he can.

Posted by: peter | Oct 12 2018 18:55 utc | 75

@75 Why should Trump make a big issue about some dead Arab? Because he was a journalist? Trump hates journalists.

If bleeding heart progressives want to make a fuss so be it. He knows his base don't give a shit about the world outside the USA as long as they buy American arms.

Posted by: dh | Oct 12 2018 19:19 utc | 76

In response to DontBelieveEitherPropaganda, item 9 above, a good account of the Lockerbie affair by David Morrison can be found at

Posted by: Peter Brooke | Oct 12 2018 19:45 utc | 77

re Karloff 74

If his death serves to turn off arms and munitions sales to Saudi, then he will have accomplished more than any of the headchoppers he supported.
That's not very likely. Saudi needs the US to defend them, as they can't defend themselves. The arms purchases are protection money.

The Saudis are unable to defend their own frontiers. There are videos of the Houthis overlooking the city of Najran. If they were better situated, they could take Saudi's tenth largest city. Saudi troops are unwilling to fight, for the obvious reason that they are there for the money, and few have real allegiance to Riyadh. There are stories that US special forces have been put in to stiffen the resistance, and it is true that we haven't heard more on this front, so perhaps they have succeeded.

Saudi can't afford to annoy the US, and will continue to pay, and the US won't refuse.

There are stories that Saudi hasn't confirmed orders announced during Trump's visit to Riyadh. In my view, they can't refuse, even if they can't afford it. I once worked for a Saudi-related company, and it was very difficult to get the Saudis to pay up. A bit like that, I would say.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 12 2018 19:51 utc | 78

Background on how Kashoogi became the enemy of the Saudi dictatorship:

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 12 2018 19:52 utc | 79

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda @ 9:

My understanding of the Lockerbie air tragedy is that it's a classic example of two birds being killed with one stone.

Where TPTB find a possibility that two problems or issues can be dealt with by the same solution, however violent, that possibility becomes reality.

The context to the Lockerbie shootdown is that at the time the CIA was running a heroin-trafficking racket in the Middle East with Lebanese partners. Investigators from the DIA (Defense Intelligency Agency, the Pentagon's own spy agency) discovered this scheme and collected evidence to expose it. The CIA became aware of what the DIA agents knew and wanted them out of the way. One of the CIA's Lebanese partners knew that the Iranian government, or people within it, wanted revenge on the US for the earlier shootdown of an Iranian passenger jet by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

The CIA's Lebanese partners knew of the Iranians' desire for revenge and may have arranged with the Iranians to substitute a bomb for cash or heroin packets in a suitcase taken on board the Pan Am jet. This case may have been part of the evidence the DIA was taking back to the US (but the DIA agents might not have known at the time they took the case on board).

I am not sure of all the details (details not being my strong suit) but that's my understanding in a nutshell.

FWIW, the Wikipedia article on alternate theories surrounding the Lockerbie air crash offers sources you may like to chase up:

Posted by: Jen | Oct 12 2018 19:55 utc | 80

re dh 76

Why should Trump make a big issue about some dead Arab?
Because it's a bit too hypocritical to defend, when a US ally does exactly the same as Russia is accused of over Skripal, but with real evidence.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 12 2018 20:10 utc | 81

Laguerre @78--

Yeah, you're probably correct, but then Congress could mess with that equation. Imagine the fiancée heard whatever there was to hear via the watch until it was turned off--or perhaps the Saudis were ignorant of its capabilities and didn't. Maybe she'll spill beans if Erdogan doesn't? Or maybe she's already been compensated? Pretty sordid if trivial affair in scheme of things.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2018 20:45 utc | 82

@81 I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either.

He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.

Posted by: dh | Oct 12 2018 21:02 utc | 83

@71 Activist potatoe

We are in "Pulp Fiction" aren't we? Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one.
Thanks for completing the scenario with your own ideas of the beheading of witnesses that you mistakenly attributed to me.
I would suppose that Saudis have something usually convincing to shut off talkative people, like they will shut off Trump or even the Turks: Money

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 12 2018 21:07 utc | 84

re karlof 82

Without understanding what you're talking about - US local conversations being frequently opaque to others - I would suggest that the US congress doesn't have much to say. The US is not about to abandon Saudi.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 12 2018 21:14 utc | 85

Laguerre @85--

Congresspeople have put forth the idea of suspending pending arms sales:

"Khashoggi's disappearance on October 2 has led nearly two dozen senators to call for the Trump administration to take action against the Saudis, who Turkish officials believe had the Washington Post columnist killed."

I'd say the article confirms your conclusion.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2018 21:25 utc | 86

dh @76
oh no he isnt some dead arab after all he is an american citizen
a very very wealthy american citizen

Posted by: occidentosis | Oct 12 2018 21:38 utc | 87

re Karlof 86

Congresspeople have put forth the idea of suspending pending arms sales:
Yes, that is known.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 12 2018 21:46 utc | 88

Did MofA just say Iran did Lockerbie bombing ?😳 Because it didn't

Posted by: Brian | Oct 12 2018 21:57 utc | 89

@84 - Virgile: "Thanks for completing the scenario with your own ideas of the beheading of witnesses that you mistakenly attributed to me."

It wasn't a mistake, I just added a bit of artistic licence and developed your line of thinking a little further through a fictitious version of you. I hope I did not mislead anybody and that they read your original post.

I was attempting to inject a little humour into the scenario because the sad reality is that such a narrative as the one you laid out - as ludicrous as it is - might actually fly for a short distance with a compliant, unquestioning media behind it and the lack of critical thinking capabilities, or genuine caring, of the general populace.

The Skripal hoax grew legs I never imagined possible. If people did quietly question it, those people were deprived of a public counter-narrative in the mainstream Press to nurture their skepticism. This could cause a dimwit to renounce natural suspicion and a sharpie to know when to shut-up if he/she did not wish to be laughed at or worse.

They have so many of us dangling on a string. Thank b and others for MoA!

Posted by: Activist Potato | Oct 12 2018 22:08 utc | 90

AtBrian89....nice catch.... ya b what's up with the quite obvious revenge nonsense?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 12 2018 22:13 utc | 91

I haven't seen Serena Shim's name mentioned yet by commentators on this topic. I wonder how many recall her and what she uncovered that caused her to be murdered without searching. Sad that such a courageous journalist who in 2014 revealed Erdogan's collusion with the Terror War on Syria is so easily forgotten. Somebody Remembers! She too was an American journalist, but her murder didn't raise anything like this ado.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 12 2018 22:25 utc | 92

A heads up for this article in The Intercept:

Posted by: bjd | Oct 12 2018 22:26 utc | 93

So many people not aware, that the US always defend the oppressed. /s
My bet is that the US knew, by spying that this would happen. They did fuck all to prevent it it as it suits their, geopolitical needs somehow. That the the Turks also knew it, well the same mics and cameras ? The turks are not all idiots, you know, some highly professional people too.
The Saudis on the other hand have proven completely inept in most cases,and this is further taint to their reputation. They are bumblers.
The agenda at the end of the day, will be it was the Russians or the Iranians, the y do this kind of thing. Remember last time they hacked up some guy and put him trough the the shredder. They do that often. Putin does it every day. A saying in russia is "schhhysh! You will go through the shredder, keep silent! Darth Putin will know" /S
I can just feel the blame will go there.. Or maybe the Turks, they must be kept inline.
But any way the guy who is missing, is no loss to us, promoting wahabism and head chopping, he will not be missed much, another bastard gone, kewl! Aint no loss!
So a headchopper advocate looses his head and everybody is up in arms. Not me. The clown prince can thin out for my sake, KSA is a joke anyway, should be banned.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 12 2018 22:30 utc | 94

According to an article in the Duran Khashoggi was an agent in the employ of Riyadh and the CIA during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan.

Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was Khashoggi’s political protector. Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was at the center of relations between Washington and Saudi Arabia against the USSR while it was in Afghanistan using fighters who later became known as Al Qaeda - armed and trained by CIA:Pakistan and financed by the Saudis.

Faisal became the leader of Saudi intelligence. He was removed from his post on May 24, 2001, a few months before September 11, 2001 (convenient) .The connections he had with Osama bin Laden led him to being sued by relatives of 9/11 directed at him and other Saudi operatives.

In 2005, Turki bin Faisal was appointed Saudi ambassador to the US during the Bush administration, with Khashoggi accompanying him as a media advisor. During Turki bin Faisal’s ambassadorship in Washington, Khashoggi assumed the position of head of press relations, coming into direct contact with major national and international organs of US media.

During the Obama administration, Khashoggi supported the Obama administrations strategy of color revolutions and the Arab Spring to extend US imperialist domination following the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was most likely a CIA asset, perhaps also Saudi intelligence as well

When MBS became the strongman holding power in Saudi Arabia, he triggered a near war with Qatar with Trumps blessing, and was unhappy over the role of Al Jazeera, which often hosted Khashoggi and was increasingly critical of MBS.

So whatever the story is I am not losing any sleep over Khashoggi. He is just an agent of one Saudii faction against the MBS faction, a faction just as evil. Kind of like the pick between agents of the 2 factions duking it out in the US. Evil does vs Evil do. There are no white knights here.

After Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, was kidnapped and taken to Riyadh to be re-educated (tortured) Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia . Khashoggi continued with his columns criticizing the Saudi regime, attacking its campaign in Yemen on Al Jazeera.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 12 2018 23:14 utc | 95

@ PFT 95

I have lost no sleep either. Just curious to see what happens next.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 12 2018 23:25 utc | 96

I wonder where the sudden release from house arrest, of the pastor, fits into all this?

Posted by: Hermius | Oct 12 2018 23:28 utc | 97

CLOWN Prince MBS is probably using mercenaries, provided by former Blackwater’s owner Erik Prins, to subjugate & humiliate the other members of Saudi royal family.
It would be unthinkable that a Saudi Arabian subject of the king, would turn against their own princelings, out of fear for future retribution.

Prins is already involved with MBS’ mentor, UAE’s ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and provides him with a praetorian guard.

Mirroring East India company, the ruling class in FrUKUS & USrael is using Prins’ company in their attempting to colonize MENA as evidenced by privatization of Afghan Occupation and the protection racket in the Arabian Peninsula.

Posted by: Amir | Oct 13 2018 0:02 utc | 98

Prince has lasted thru at least three admins now. 8 years of Warmongering Dubya 911, 8 years of Warmongering Obama and two years into Warmongering Drumph. Not lasted, but gifted largely thru each, with many million$ perhaps a billion or more by now. His sister is Betsy DeVoss and they are Amway owners.

It's as if Prince has pictures of all of them in flagrante with young boys.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 13 2018 0:13 utc | 99

It gets worse! Ali Al Ahmed of The Institute for Gulf Affairs is interviewed by Aaron Mate of TRNN. (John Gilberts already posted a link to the video above, but here is the full transcript.)

Is the U.S. Complicit in Saudi Journalist’s Disappearance?

I’ve heard people have, they have seen a video of him being killed. That video was taken by his Apple watch. And that streamed to his iPhone, which was outside the consulate at the hand of his wife, and the Turkish authorities were able to go unlock the phone and then see the video. The gruesome video. So we have confirmation from people who said they were shown the video by the Turkish police.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 13 2018 0:19 utc | 100

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